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Thursday, July 7, 2016

SPFBO II the first update (by Mihir Wanchoo)

In my introductory post for SPFBO II, I had mentioned which 5 books I'll be putting on my "agent hat" on. Here are the five titles which were up for consideration:
V.M Jaskiernia - Larkspur; a necromancer's romance
Scott J. Robinson - The Age of Heroes
Thomas K. Carpenter - Revolutionary Magic
Kristal Shaff - Powers of the Six
K.A Fenwolfe - Tiz Phoenix and the Witch's Tree

With all five of these titles, my aim was to read the first three chapters and figure out which one was the most enticing. I've learnt from my last SPFBO experience that this method while seemingly cruel, is the best one. So here are my thoughts on each of them:

1) Larkspur was an interesting tile and a short story/novellete which left its mark by mixing dark fantasy with romance. The author has to be lauded for mixing many things in such a short space and the ending left me wanting to know more about the main character and the world.

2) The Age Of Heroes is a rather clever take on sword and sorcery and the trope of ageing heroes. The story began with our protagonist Rawk who decides to turn his life around with one final task. I thought the book didn't take itself seriously but also didn't offer anything new.

3) Revolutionary Magic was a title from which I had high hopes from. It seemed to mix steampunk and alternate history with a whiff of urban fantasy (?). The story however didn't quite pick up in the opening chapters and even though I wanted to continue for the sake of the plot. I didn't feel like it due to the disjointed story start.

4) Powers Of The Six was an interesting title, the plot drops the reader into the world and then simply races forward. I loved the epic fantasy aspect of the story mixed in with the superhero aspect of the magic system. This was a very enjoyable read very much in the vein of the Mistborn books but a little more streamlined.

5) Tiz Phoenix And The Witch's Tree had the most original plot and was the book which I was unsure of what to expect. The author has to be lauded for writing a middle grade book and yet making it enjoyable for adult & YA readers. I very much enjoyed this book and was very much torn between it and the other title for choosing one title.

So after reading these five, I believe the title which narrowly beat out the others was Powers Of the Six by Kristal Shaff. I'll be doing a proper mini-review of it next week and now onwards to the next batch of five titles:
 R.J. Blain - Storm Without End 
 Roger Atreya - Hondus Pointe 
 Rachel E. Rice - Insaitable 
 Loren Bukovka - Nicky and the fairy named Anika 
 Phill Berrie - Transgressions 

NOTE: SPFBO banner courtesy of Matt Howerter.


Kristal Shaff said...

Thanks Mihir! The best part was the comparison to Mistborn. Sanderson is one of my favorites.


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